KEMPTEN, a town in the kingdom of Bavaria on the Iller, 81 m. S.W. of Munich by rail. Pop. (1905), 20,663. The town is well built, has many spacious squares and attractive public grounds, and contains a castle, a handsome town-hall, a gymnasium, etc. The old palace of the abbots of Kempten, dating from trie end of the lyth century, is now partly used as barracks, and near to it is the fine abbey church. The industries include wool-spinning and weaving and the manufacture of paper, beer, machines, hosiery and matches. As the commercial centre of the Algau, Kempten carries on active trade in timber and dairy produce. Numerous remains have been discovered on the Lindenberg, a hill in the vicinity.
Kempten, identified with the Roman Cambodunum, consisted in early times of two towns, the old and the new. The continual hostility that existed between these was intensified by the welcome given by the old town, a free imperial city since 1 289, to the Reformed doctrines, the new town keeping to the older faith. The Benedictine abbey of Kempten, said to have been founded in 773 by Hildegarde, the wife of Charlemagne, was an important house. In 1360 its abbot was promoted to the dignity of a prince of the Empire by the emperor Charles IV. ; the town and abbey passed to Bavaria in 1803. Here the Austrians defeated the French on the 17th of September 1796.
See Forderreuther, Die Stadt Kempten und ihre Umgebung (Kempten, 1901); Haggenmuller, Geschichte der Stadt und der geiursieten Grafschaft Kempten, vol. i. (Kempten, 1840); and Meirhofer, Geschichttiche Darstettung der dinkwurdigsten Schicksale der Stadt Kempten (Kempten, 1856).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)